To get better at what you do?
If the only feedback you are receiving about the
work you are doing…
the risks you are taking…
the things you are creating…
is positive, consider that for a minute.
Is that what you want? Is that what you need?
How do you tell the difference between someone who’s being nice
and someone who’s telling the truth?
If you NEVER hear negative – or even neutral – feedback how do you know what you need to improve?
If you’ve been the victim of 100% positive feedback…
If you are a member of a group of people pleasing back patters…
If you ask counterfeit questions, like “Wasn’t that GREAT?!” when you ask someone for their opinion…
Consider the possibility that you have a subjective and unrealistic opinion of your finished product – whatever it is.
Consider the statistical improbability that you are doing everything so well what there’s absolutely no room for improvement.
As scary as it is, if you REALLY want to improve, seek developmental feedback.
But NOT from just anyone.
Ask people you trust.
Ask people who have experience in your industry or craft – either firsthand or through extensive observation.
Ask people who have no vested interest in the outcome of your decisions.
If they believe you are sincere in the asking…
If they have the courage to tell you the truth…
and the feedback isn’t 100% affirmation and praise,
DON’T PUNISH THEM FOR IT.
DON’T shut down.
DON’T assume they are wrong.
DON’T dismiss them as a credible resource.
DON’T dismiss the feedback.
DON’T ASSUME THEY DON’T LIKE YOU.
Consider. Search their words for all possible truth. If you’re really brave, seek out a second opinion – again – giving them permission to tell you the truth.
Ask for suggestions. Find qualified teachers and credible mentors. Set realistic long and short-term goals for improvement. Work toward them. Consistently.
Improvement is rarely easy. But in the end, the hard is what makes it great.